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Nothing illuminating to offer from this part of the globe, but I am the exception, not the rule for Da Box. I am certain Bauxites have something to say, even in the dead of winter, and here is the place to say it. Enjoy the weekend!
Hijack Central: Weekend Version | 100 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_A - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 07:04 AM EST (#79003) #
Countdown's on...

Pitchers and catchers
report in 4 days,
16 hours, 57 minutes
and 34 seconds.

...Might have to adjust that a few hours since no one reports at midnight but it's close enough!
_Jordan - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 07:56 AM EST (#79004) #
The first two weeks of February really is the Dead Zone, isn't it? Football's over, baseball hasn't begun, and the NBA and NHL haven't finished figuring out which five teams don't make the playoffs. Celebrity golf tournaments start looking like attractive Sunday afternoon TV fare, and you even get nostaglic for ABC's Wide World of Sports. "Stay tuned for high-diving, ski-jumping, and the Legends of Scrabble!...."

Moreover, there's pretty much nothing to talk about in baseball, except maybe for arbitration cases; if not for Aaron Boone, there'd be no pilot light in the hot stove at all. This is probably how the players feel in the last couple of weeks of spring training: let's get on with the season, already!

At least the books are starting to arrive. John Sickels' book came in yesterday's mail -- it was just as good as promised, with some very positive reviews of several young Jays -- and I'm expecting Baseball Prospectus and the Baseball America Prospect Handbook to arrive in the next few weeks. Tom Petty was, as usual, right: the waiting is the hardest part.
_IAM - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 09:26 AM EST (#79005) #
Meant to mention this in the Ricciardi trade thread, but didn't get to it in time ...

Where the heck is Chad Ricketts? Is he throwing again? Is he still in the organization? Would seem ashame to give up on a local kid who showed such promise in the high minors at 24 and 25.

_Ryan01 - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 09:53 AM EST (#79006) #
Ricketts actually turns 29 in a couple days, so he was never really a great prospect. It was shoulder surgery which is always a very difficult thing to come back from. He was a minor league free agent so he isn't in the organization anymore. I don't remember hearing anything about him being signed by any teams so I imagine he'll either retire or play in the independent leagues for a while to try to work his way back.
_IAM - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 11:05 AM EST (#79007) #
No, he was never a great prospect, but, had he avoided injury, he would have for sure made it to the Show. Now he might not. Thanks for the info, Ryan01.
_Darryl - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 12:09 PM EST (#79008) #
Ricketts threw a few innings last year for the Nashua Pride of the Atlantic Independent league
_David Armitage - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 01:11 PM EST (#79009) #
Nice article on Vernon Wells in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. COMN.

Jays' minor leaguer Glenn Williams drove in 3 runs for Australia to make them the final qualifier for the upcoming Olympics.
_Steve Z - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 01:30 PM EST (#79010) #
Bob Elliott chimes in on the Jays top positional prospects today, Rios and Quiroz, and leaves us with the proposition: Who will make it to the bigs first?

My bet's on Lexi! (Although Gross should have something to say about it!)

I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of reading "signed by former scouting director" or "signed by former Jays scout" in every other Elliott column. Four years fom now, when the Jays are coming off back-to-back world series championships, I'm sure all the "formers" (Ash, Wilken, Engle at al. ) will to be getting more credit than JP and his rat pack.
_R Billie - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 01:47 PM EST (#79011) #
I thought it was much more interesting that Pinella 'guaranteed' that the Devil Rays won't be finishing last this season. I think the D-Rays are in position to get significantly better over the next three years and they could be 10 games better this year. But to not finish last one of the teams ahead would absolutely have to collapse.
_Ryan F - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 01:52 PM EST (#79012) #
Guess this is as good a place as any to post it... lets you search any website, and see where they rank by visits.

Long story short, our Box is the 192,121st most-visited site on the web. At least we made the top 200,000.
_EddieZosky - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 02:00 PM EST (#79013) #
I don't see this posted yet...

According to Sinins, Corey Thurman's contract was voided by the Reds today because of a failure to disclose an injury. That stinks. Hopefully this isn't the end of Corey's career.
_Jabonoso - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 02:03 PM EST (#79014) #
This was a week of very good baseball. The Caribe series finished yesterday with Dominicana in first place, Mexico in second and Puerto Rico dead last. there were some very impresive pitching performances, particularly by the Dominicans with Soriano as their ace, Beltran the MVP as closer. Cisco Campos a mexican starter ( triple crwon in MPL )is seen as a possible fifth starter for the White Sox as soon as next season.
No Blue jays were playing...
Joe - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 04:48 PM EST (#79015) #
I'm not sure that Alexa is really in a position to monitor how often Da Box is actually visited, but I know I am.

For this reason, I am proud to announce The Official Batter's Box Usage Log. This will be updated twice daily. Feel free to see how your favourite site is doing!
_A - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 05:51 PM EST (#79016) #
Joe, out of curiosity, does Alexa try to determine the rank of a Web site depending on how many people with its toolbar visit it?
_Nolan - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 05:59 PM EST (#79017) #
Just finished reading an article on by Tim Kurkjian on the possible rosters for each country for the hopefully upcoming Baseball World Cup.

The thing that I noticed was that although it was a pretty well written article, it nowhere even mientioned that Canada might have a team or look at their potential roster as he did for USA, Peurto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Japan, Venezuela, and Cuba.

My first response was okay, yeah Canada's not really a power house in baseball....then I started thinking more and you know, I could see that in a clouple years we'd have a team that at least could give a good fight and probably win a few games.

As far as I could come up with the main players we'd have would be Larry Walker (should still be young enough), Eric Gagne, Jason Bay (could be a stud this year), Corey Koskie, Aaron Guiel, Justin Morneau (could be a star), Rich Harden (in prime by then?). Adam Loewen (top prospect for Orioles but maybe too young), Paul Quantril, Ryan Dempster (can he regain his Marlins form for the Cubs?), Jeff Zimmerman, Matt Stairs (too old by then?.

What do you guys think of our chances? Can you think of any palyers I missed that could be a factor?


_Nolan - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 06:00 PM EST (#79018) #
Sorry guys...not sure how to do links yet on I put the link in the Homepage box?
_Ryan F - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 08:35 PM EST (#79019) #
E-mail works best, I think.
Mike Green - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 08:51 PM EST (#79020) #
The Expos signed Tim Raines and Rob Ducey to manage and coach respectively in their minor league system. As a big Raines fan, I'm delighted to see him in the game in this capacity.
_WillRain - Saturday, February 07 2004 @ 09:44 PM EST (#79021) #
I'm thinking Dempster is out all year recovering from TJ
Thurman's injury MIGHT provide insight into his easy exit from the Jays...maybe
Speaking of injured guys, Scott Chaisson is almost a year removed from TJ, why has no one signed this guy? Why haven't WE given the dreath of quality minor league lefties in our system?

Check him out:


'98 GCL 21 4.88 24 24 11 26

'99 NWL 22 5.22 69 80 39 51

'00 CL 23 3.06 156 146 57 150 (got 23 starts)

'01 SL 24 1.76 61 43 20 62
'01 PCL 24 2.25 12 11 0 14
'01 MLB 24 2.90 6 5 2 6

'02 SL 25 3.00 3 5 1 5
'02 PCL 25 7.94 28 34 13 26
'02 MLB 25 23.14 5 11 6 3

'03 Arz 26 3.37 3 3 0 5

Now, if one may be allowe to presume an injury problem accounting for the 2002 disaster, this man is, to say the least, what's the hold up? I presume there must be one given that all 30 GMs are likely NOT all asleep at the switch....
Joe - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 01:08 AM EST (#79022) #
I've made some changes which should make browsing Da Box much easier on us who are blessed with a mobile browser. If you're using a smart browser or the hiptop browser (and those two sets are mutually exclusive, it seems), you should be able to read everything much more comfortably.

Let me know if there are any troubles.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 09:19 AM EST (#79023) # lets you search any website, and see where they rank by visits.

It doesn't work all that well. Alexa always has around 80th or so, while the Nielsen Ratings for websites always has us around 9th or 10th.

Last month's Media Metrix ratings had us 8th. The Batter's Box didn't crack the Top 50, but there's always next month. :)


Craig B - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 12:09 PM EST (#79024) #
Also, Alexa has a hugely disproportionate number of users in Korea. Alexa is a much more reliable guide to the number of Koreans who use your site, than the number of Net users.
_Steve Z - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 12:24 PM EST (#79025) #
The Manchester Union Leader's Kevin Gray conducted an excellent interview with J.P.
_Jabonoso - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 01:05 PM EST (#79026) #
J.P. " if you look at our AAA, there is pretty much a prospect at every position ": Is there any official list of who is going to Syracuse?
Should be "looked" through educated guesses still? Gerry?

A commentary from someone in the third world: saying that they were worst ( New Haven team ) than in Irak is really the equivalent of a blasphemy in the catholic church. For us USA is an agressor, an imperialistic armagedon, Afghanistan and Irak have been suffering for years now, their children dying ( far from a metaphor ). It is not something to joke on or to take it lightly.
Gerry - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 01:25 PM EST (#79027) #
J.P. " if you look at our AAA, there is pretty much a prospect at every position ": Is there any official list of who is going to Syracuse? Should be "looked" through educated guesses still?

I don't think JP is 100% correct but he is close. The lineup for prospects would likely be:

C - Quiroz
2B - Rich
SS - Sequea
3B - Pond
OF - Rios, Gross
SP - Arnold, Bush, Reimers, Chulk, Justin Miller
BP - Peterson, DeJong, File

For position players there is no prospect for 1B or the third OF slot, unless you consider Mike Colangelo or Glen Williams prospects.

Also some of these prospects are getting late in their chances, but it will be much less of a retread team than in previous years.

For the SP's Reimers, Chulk and Justin Miller are grade C prospects now.

So JP is right but only five or six players are top prospects. However, most AAA teams will not have that level of future talent, so Syracuse fans should be excited about seeing Quiroz, Rios, Gross, Bush, Peterson, etc. all season. That level of expected talent on one team is rare at AAA so enjoy it while it lasts.
_Jabonoso - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 01:37 PM EST (#79028) #
Yes, it's been a long time for Syracuse to have such a prospect loaded team. It may be argued that J-F Griffin may be you third OF or 1st base.
Or that Goodwin ( or Godwin? ) may be be pushed forwards ( he has the age to be thrown into the water... ). I particularly do not like Sequea at short, he has played more regularly at 2nd, maybe it is a position to be addressed from outside sources.
As a reliever I do hope that Chacin may be considered a prospect again, last year he improved both SO/inning and SO/BB ratios.
_Ryan01 - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 02:01 PM EST (#79029) #
Good points Jabonoso. JF Griffin has about 450 AB at AA over the last two years and was hitting quite well in the last half of the year before the injury. I'm not quite sure why everyone assumes he'll return to AA. If you consider Shawn Fagan a prospect then that takes care of 1B/OF between those two.

Godwin needs to move quickly but I would think he and Russ Adams will get a little more time at AA and get early-midseason callups if all goes well. Adams promotion should let Sequea settle in at 2B, but it probably won't hurt him to get some more experience at 2B and 3B anyways. His future may be as a Dave Berg type.

Any word as to why Chacin got hit so hard towards the end of the Venezuelan league season? He started off doing incredibly well and then really tailed off at the end. Hopefully there aren't any arm/shoulder issues.
Coach - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 02:08 PM EST (#79030) #
Steve, thanks for the link. I'll post another thread for the J.P. interview.
_MatO - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 02:23 PM EST (#79031) #
The house is empty and nothing on TV so I did a Jays draft summary based around Tim Wilken. Pre-Wilken 1977-1989, Wilken as National-crosschecker 1990-1995 and Wilken as Director of US scouting 1996-2000. The drafts are culled from Blue Jays Official Guides. I have most since 1987. The guides also have a handy page of Blue Jays still in the organization and their draft positions so I could trace the pre-1987 drafts. There were extra levels of drafts other than the June pre-1987. These are listed as other. Position players and pitchers are listed separately. I've arbitrarily listed players that had some significance or I think might have some significance in the future and must have played in the majors. Thus some players like Menhart, Flener, Sinclair et al who had a bit of a career are not included but File is. Nobody from the 2001 draft onward has played in the majors yet.

Position Players
Rd1- Lloyd Moseby, Ed Sprague
Rd2- Derek Bell
Rd3- Greg Myers, John Olerud
Rd4- None
Rd5- None
Rd6- Pat Borders
Rd7- None
Rd8- None
Rd9- Jesse Barfield, Glenallen Hill
Rd10- Randy Knorr
Rd11-15- Ryan Thompson
Rd16-20- Jeff Kent
Rd21-30- None
Rd30+ - Gino Petralli
Other - Mike Sharperson, Eric Yelding, Mark Whiten

Rd1- John Cerutti
Rd2- David Wells
Rd3- Jimmy Key, David Weathers
Rd4- Xavier Hernandez
Rd5- Dave Stieb, Pat Hentgen, Mike Timlin
Rd6- Jeff Musselman
Rd7-10 None
Rd11-15 Willie Blair
Rd16-20 None
Rd21-30 Woody Williams
Rd30+ Doug Linton?
Other- Mark Eichorn, Todd Stottlemyre

Position Players
Rd1- Shawn Green, Shannon Stewart, Kevin Witt
Rd2- Craig Wilson, Tim Hyers
Rd3- Felipe Crespo, Chris Stynes
Rd4- Tom Evans
Rd5-10 None
Rd11-15 Alex Gonzales, Adam Melhuse
Rd16-20 None
Rd21-30 None
Rd30+ Chris Woodward

Rd1- Steve Karsay, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay
Rd2- Tim Crabtree
Rd3-5 None
Rd6- Jose Silva
Rd7-10 None
Rd11-15 Gary Glover
Rd16-20 Ben Weber
Rd20+ None

Position Players
Rd1- Vernon Wells, Felipe Lopez
Rd2- Brent Abernathy
Rd3-4 None
Rd5- Mike Young
Rd6- None
Rd7- Casey Blake
Rd8-9 None
Rd10- Josh Phelps
Rd11-15 Jay Gibbons
Rd16-20 Reed Johnson
Rd20-30 None
Rd30+ Orlando Hudson

Rd1- Billy Koch
Rd2- None
Rd3- Matt Ford
Rd4-10 None
Rd11-15 Brandon Lyon
Rd16-20 Bob File, Mark Hendrickson
Rd20+ None

Was the Blue Jay drafting and development of pitching in the 90's dismal or what?
_Jabonoso - Sunday, February 08 2004 @ 08:34 PM EST (#79032) #
About Chacin. my guess is that he tired, as he had a full season in the bullpen and then streched his arm in Venezuela as starter. also having to face Maglio, Cabrera ( both the younger and the elder ) instead of Omar Infante and the Izturis' would impact somehow ( this heavier guns start playing around christmas just to be all cylinders for the finals )
By the way, people voted Miguelito Cabrera to be the best latino hitter for the next ten years. This over Pujols or Manny ( he may be out for his physical shape ) sounds a bit of a strecht but sure he has upside...
_R Billie - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 12:11 AM EST (#79033) #
Cabrera better than Pujols? Well he was only 20 last year so who knows what he could grow into in three or four years. It will take some time for him to get to that level though. Right now he's still somewhat still vunerable to good offspeed stuff; challenging him with fastballs is asking for trouble though. Even if they're around his eyes.
_JackFoley - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 12:35 AM EST (#79034) #
From Inside Dish: The recently retired Mike Bordick, 38, made 64 starts for the Jays last season, and made a higher average number of plays per nine innings than Miguel Tejada, Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter.

Didn't know that. I wonder if Bordick would consider briefly stepping out of retirement should the Jays eventually find themselves in serious contention.
Joe - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:02 AM EST (#79036) #
Christmas Lights:

A quick and easy way to make a link is to paste the URL into the "Homepage" box when you're making a comment, and then refer to it in the body of the comment (COMN: Click On My Name).

Everybody: (and sorry for being off-topic)

Mozilla Firebird is no more. For reasons of confusion and tradmark, it has been re-named Mozilla Firefox. Version 0.8 of this amazing browser has been released, and it now features a Windows installer.

Get Firefox
Joe - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:06 AM EST (#79037) #
A note: the Mozilla website is fairly (i.e., ridiculously) swamped right now, so if you're trying to download Firefox, you're going to have to either (a) wait or (b) use a mirror site.

I promise to stay on-topic for the next 3 days. Honest!
_Jordan - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:32 AM EST (#79038) #
It's hard to decide between Cabrera and Pujols at this stage. They spent very little time in the minors, but both had monster Double-A seasons at age 20 (assuming their ages are accurate): Cabrera had the higher average, Pujols showed more power and better plate discipline. Personally, though, my money's on Albert to be the best NL hitter for the balance of this decade. To make a rough comparison to AL shortstops, I think Pujols will be A-Rod while Cabrera will be Nomar.
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:51 AM EST (#79039) #
Damn, Joe, are you trying to pump up the value of your Mozilla stock options? :)


Mike Green - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 10:12 AM EST (#79040) #
20 year old major leaguers often make tremendous progress in their early to mid-20s(Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle), but sometimes stall out early (Cesar Cedeno, Ruben Sierra). Pujols has already taken 2 giant leaps forward in 2001 (he performed better in the majors in 2001 than he had at single A in 2000) and 2003. Will Cabrera take them too? It is easier to maintain established levels of performance in the 20s than to establish them in the first place.
Pistol - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 10:50 AM EST (#79041) #
20 year old major leaguers often make tremendous progress in their early to mid-20s(Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle), but sometimes stall out early (Cesar Cedeno, Ruben Sierra).

Andruw Jones is another good staller. He's not much better now than he was at 21.
_R Billie - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 11:50 AM EST (#79042) #
What about Alex Gonzalez? He who was projected to one day join the group of All-Star shortstops in the AL but never really got better offensively than his rookie season at 21 or so.

Cabrera looks like a better hitter than Alex ever was but again you can't know at this point how much better he'll get than he is now. I've always wondered why Major League teams felt a need to rush young guys to the majors at such an early age. Of course Cabrera had a hand in the World Series victory but still. Just looking at the Jays, Alex Gonzalez, Shawn Green, and Felipe Lopez probably would have been better off spending another full year or even two in the minors. Cesar Izturis was definately pushed up before he was ready too.

Alexis Rios would have a major league job on a lot of other teams by now. But I admire the Jays for keeping him down for at least half this year and insuring that they aren't wasting his major league service time and that he won't be a free agent when he's entering his prime years. How much better off would the Jays have been for instance had Halladay come up at age 23 and not been given a multiyear multimillion dollar deal which bought out NONE of his arbitration years?
Mike Green - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 12:04 PM EST (#79043) #
The cat is out of the bag on Rick Peterson's pitching analysis. From an in-depth study by Jonah Keri in BP last year to an article on (COMN) this year. How long will it be until other teams go the biomechanical analysis route?
_David Armitage - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 01:16 PM EST (#79044) #
Spencer Fordin's new article is up, talking about the new faces showing up for Spring Training. COMN.
_perlhack - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 02:25 PM EST (#79045) #
BP has an article discussing the A's supposed offensive woes for the upcoming season. The author (Dayn Perry) expects a marginal increase in run creation despite the loss of Tejada and Hernandez.

It's essentially a case of taking a big drop in one area, and compensating for it with numerous small increases elsewhere in the lineup.
_Rob - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 03:11 PM EST (#79046) #
From the Fordin article:
The team needs [Lilly and Hentgen] to pitch better than Cory Lidle and Mark Hendrickson did last season, which doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

You said it, Spence.
Coach - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 06:21 PM EST (#79047) #
Fordin fans will be pleased to know that he's stepping into Da Box for our next interview in the near future. Also from Spencer's latest, J.P. on his club's upcoming roster decisions:

"We've got Pete Walker and Jayson Durocher fighting for that extra spot, and so is Bruce Chen."

I'd feel better if he'd mentioned a hitter. That sounds like the dreaded 12-man pitching staff, with Rule 5 pickup Talley Haines presumably in the same battle. If so, the Jays' bench, on days Myers starts, will consist of Cash, Werth, Gomez and Berg. Not exactly scary to opponents. Give me a timely pinch-hit by Simon Pond or Howie Clark over a seven-man bullpen, any day.
_Matt - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 06:27 PM EST (#79048) #
ok, given that this is a hijack thread and I can basically say whatever I want... I would like to point out that Evil Dead:The Musical may be back in 2004... Great show, even greater if you are familiar with the cult series....

I know its not related to baseball whatsoever, but hey its february 9th... what can ya do?
_Rob - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 08:35 PM EST (#79049) #
Give me a timely pinch-hit by Simon Pond or Howie Clark over a seven-man bullpen, any day.

I agree Coach. Nothing good will come of it. Giving Tosca more relievers is like giving RG column space in Canada's largest daily news--oh, right.

Do you have an ETA on the Fordin interview other than "the near future"? I'm looking forward to that.
Mike Green - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 08:39 PM EST (#79050) #
I'm with Coach. Give me a pinch-hitter over a 7th man in the bullpen any day. At the start of the season, the Jays have enough days off that the 5th starter (presumably Towers) won't get his first start until 2 and 1/2 weeks into the season. He'll need some work before his first start; finding enough work for Towers and the 6 relievers with those days off will be difficult. Add in that the opposition at the start of the year is less challenging than last year's openers, and this seems to me to be a clear-cut decision.
_Matthew E - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:37 PM EST (#79051) #
Not only that, but this rotation shouldn't need as many relievers as last year's rotation did. Not only that, but this bullpen shouldn't need as many relievers as last year's bullpen did. I personally would prefer a five-man bullpen, but I guess we saw the last of those ten years ago.
_JackFoley - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 09:42 PM EST (#79052) #
Hinske related article from

Leigh - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 10:07 PM EST (#79053) #
Marlins sign former Jays' farmhand, Sistine Chapel artist and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Mike Colangelo. COMN
_Jonny German - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 10:19 PM EST (#79054) #
COMN for the article JackFoley is referring to (looks like you put the link in the e-mail box, Jack). The audio link (Players Talk, 2nd paragraph) is recommended, Eric comes across better in his own words than in the Yahoo! write up.
_JackFoley - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 10:38 PM EST (#79055) #
D'oh, thanks Jonny.
_Shane - Monday, February 09 2004 @ 11:20 PM EST (#79056) #
Question to all with better memories than I:

Has there been any one particular thread since Ted Lilly's acquisition that had some informative 'Bauxite group think' of just how effective Lilly might be in TO in'04? I see almost to a man the '04 Jays bullpen is made up of strong groundball dependent chuckers, and Lilly is very much historically flyball dependent --more so than I remembered. And with Batista being brought aboard with his outstanding GB/FB ratio's, in this regard Lilly just seems to stand out among the acquisitions and with the overall pitching configuration. Thanks for any direction.
_Matt - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 12:35 AM EST (#79057) #

Lilly is a southpaw though. We were in desperate need of a LHP who can start whose name was not Hendrickson (although best of luck in T-Bay)...

I think Ted Roosevelt will be fine. The closed dome will only be a factor in the early parts of the season, and as we all know the earlier parts of the sched. are rather advantageous.

Once the dome is open, a flyball pitcher isn't all that bad I would think. The wind tends to blow towards home plate under such circumstances, plus one does not have to deal with the shoddy left infield d combined with the barrage of infield hits due to the turf...

In any event, if lidle can go 5.73 (or whatever his dreadful era was) and get out with 10 wins, then I think with this rotation that 90 wins is not a stretch.

I also do not mind a deep bullpen. Remember how bloody awful the entire pen was last year (save one or two guys)???

The overall statement that can be made offseason in my opinion is that all of the players who proven to be liabilities to the team are gone and have all been replaced by guys who are each loaded with potential. Exciting times are ahead and that is for sure...
Leigh - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 12:37 AM EST (#79058) #
Has there been any one particular thread since Ted Lilly's acquisition that had some informative 'Bauxite group think' of just how effective Lilly might be in TO in'04?

While it was certainly not a 'group-think', I wrote a piece on the likelihood of Lilly's being DomeShocked early in the year. Be forewarned, however, that it is a quick and dirty piece of research, perhaps lacking the cogency for which Bauxites have become famous. COMN.
_Ben - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 01:15 AM EST (#79059) #
Over at they have the Jays finishing in 3rd place one game behind the Yankees in the East. This seems very optimistic on many fronts, namely the Red Sox winning 105 games. COMN for the story.
_Ben - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 01:17 AM EST (#79060) #
Forgot to mention they have Delgado winning the MVP race and Tampa Bay finishing ahead of Baltimore. Sorry to ruin the end but I couldnt resist.
_A - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 05:54 AM EST (#79061) #
Joe, thanks for your persistance on Mozilla. I downloaded it this morning and works like a dream -- never realized how much IE lagged my PC.

_John Neary - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 11:33 AM EST (#79062) #
According to Lee Sinins, the Royals signed Doug Linton to a minor-league contract and gave him a spring training NRI.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 11:59 AM EST (#79063) #
I keep running across these claims that Batista or Vazquez or Schilling or Brown is going to run into trouble because pitchers have problems changing leagues. I am skeptical about this. Has there ever been a study?
_Matt - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 12:26 PM EST (#79064) #
E, yeah right... I would think that it would be the opposition who would be having the trouble when a pitcher were to change leagues...
_Kristian - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 01:21 PM EST (#79065) #
When a NL pitchers comes to the AL he no longer gets to face the opposing pitcher as he has to face a designated hitter. That might decrease there strikeouts but I havent seen any actual studies done on that anywhere. It would be interesting to see how pitchers faired batting against say Javier Vasquez over the course of last year.
_Steve Z - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 03:19 PM EST (#79066) #
This isn't really a hijack, but rather a small diversion that might just further the excitement for the 2004 season. Many of us will finally see what all the hype is about, watching Alexis Rios in action for the first time on March 6 (Sportsnet's first televised spring training game), but here's a three minute feature clip on Lexi, taken at last year's Futures Game in Chicago. I know comparisons aren't that useful, but I couldn't help but notice some striking similarities (especially in terms of the way Rios carries himself) to another famous A.R. in baseball!
_David Armitage - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 04:16 PM EST (#79067) #
Nick Johnson loses his arbitration case to the 'Spos (COMN), not much lower than what he was asking for though. Either way, both cases that have gone to arbitration have been won by the clubs. Anyone have a link to a site that lists the history of who has won more cases over the years, because from my limited memory this process has always swung more in the players' favor.

Also, Kevin Millwood agreed to a one year, $11 million deal with the Phillies, avoiding arbitration.
Pistol - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 07:58 PM EST (#79068) #
Apologies for only going off the top of my head, but I believe that the teams have been very successful against the players in the last couple years.
_Steve Z - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 08:34 PM EST (#79069) #
McGriff is back in the AL East, signing a minor league deal with the Rays.
_Gwyn - Tuesday, February 10 2004 @ 09:01 PM EST (#79070) #
Summer is coming! I just saw my first Jays advert of the year on TSN. As Bill Simmons would say - good times.
Craig B - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 08:31 AM EST (#79071) #
McGriff is back in the AL East, signing a minor league deal with the Rays.

Who now have Rob Fick, Tino Martinez, and Fred McGriff to play first. Frankly, I don't see how that will work, so I worry the Crime Dog is being strung along - a sad state of affairs.

What's more problematic about that situation is that with Huff at DH and an outfield of Crawford, Baldelli, and Cruz, the Rays now have managed to completely block Jonny Gomes. Gomes got a major league deal, so I assume he'll be on the active roster somewhere, not playing.

I could be wrong; I'd love to see Gomes dealt, though, preferably the hell out of the AL East. He's a perfect fit for Detroit, incidentally, who don't have a DH.
_Kristian - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 08:59 AM EST (#79072) #
Detroits DH will probably be D. Young. There outfield currently has White, Sanchez and a Higginson/Monroe platoon with Cody Ross in the mix. Tampa has a glut of outfielders with Crawford, Baldelli, Cruz plus Gomes, Josh Hamilton coming back from personal problems, Joey Gaitright and the younger Young Delmon who many predict could take only a year to make the majors. Tampa should trade a Gomes for some pitching help.
_Matt - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 09:57 AM EST (#79073) #
heh... I heard the rays are going to have Mark Hendrickson as their fourth starter.... so yes pitching help....
_Matt - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 10:17 AM EST (#79074) #
So now the yankees are rumoured to be interested in Travis Lee... I don't have the link on me so you'll have to trust me...

Isn't that a bit of overkill??? Either he or Tony Clark would never see any ab's whatsoever.... but thats yankee baseball...
Pistol - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 10:51 AM EST (#79075) #
As Bill Simmons would say - good times

Isn't that one of those catch phrases that everyone says, like they used to say 'Don't go there' and 'Been there, done that'?
_David Armitage - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 01:41 PM EST (#79076) #
heh... I heard the rays are going to have Mark Hendrickson as their fourth starter.... so yes pitching help....

Not sure what's funnier, that Hendrickson is a fourth starter, or that Cory Lidle may end up being Cincinnati's opening day starter.
_Steve Z - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 01:49 PM EST (#79077) #
Dayn Perry of continues with his (descending) Top 100 prospects list today, arriving at #51-60.

The bottom 50 now includes 4 Jays:
51. Vermilyea
55. Gross
76. Chiaravalloti
80. Arnold

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune, has his list of 2004 impact rookies:

1. SS Kazuo Matsui, Mets.
2. OF Alexis Rios, Toronto. The Blue Jays' next great young outfielder, who hit .352 at Double A, might be as good as Vernon Wells.
3. 1B Adam LaRoche, Atlanta.
4. SS Bobby Crosby, Oakland.
5. 2B Aaron Miles, Colorado.
6. RHP Edwin Jackson, Los Angeles.
7. CF Jeremy Reed, White Sox.
8. 1B-DH Justin Morneau, Minnesota.
9. RHP Adam Wainwright, St. Louis.
10. RHP Shingo Takatsu, White Sox.
_tangotiger - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 03:24 PM EST (#79078) #
For those in Montreal, Jonah Keri will be on 990 in Montreal today at 6:25.
_A - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 04:56 PM EST (#79079) #
Jonah Keri?...Class?...Jonah Keri?...Class?...Jonah Keri?...Ugh, it had be class this time. Stupid midterms.
Gerry - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 05:19 PM EST (#79080) #
Bored, waiting for the season to start? Get your swings in here, click on my name. Use your left mouse button to activate and to swing. 588.8 is the score to beat by bauxites (me).

Thanks to Alex Belth for the link.
_JackFoley - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 05:38 PM EST (#79081) #
Maxed out at 578.1 so far and that was one of my first three attempts.
_Robbie Goldberg - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:13 PM EST (#79082) #
Wow, Perry seems to be very optimistic about some Jays prospects that other analysts might not even consider prospects. The Jays have already had 4 prospects on his top 100 and he's yet to cover sure-locks McGowan, Rios and Quiroz. I wonder if he'll put Hill, Adams, Bush and even Banks.
_Donkit R.K. - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:18 PM EST (#79083) #
587.1 is where I've maxed far!
_Matt - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:22 PM EST (#79084) #
I can't get the penguin to jump or anything.... frustrating...
_Robbie Goldberg - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:22 PM EST (#79085) #
The latest Ask BA ranks the top five systems in baseball. Surprisingly, the Jays were not there. I think that most of there picks are reasonable, though I think Atlanta is way, way too high (#2) --- especially w/o Adam Wainright.
_Ben - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:28 PM EST (#79086) #
Damn, topped out at 587.6, but do i get bonus point for doing it from a wireless laptop in lecture hall? actually it should be for making the girl next to me look over and say "oh that poor penguin, that looks like it hurts"
_Jonny German - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:38 PM EST (#79087) #
Okay okay, so I only got 578.1... but how about 492.7 on the fly?
_Gwyn - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:46 PM EST (#79088) #
Paul DePodesta expected to be Dodgers GM - COMN

It is a Gammons report though so take with an appropriate amount of salt
_perlhack - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:47 PM EST (#79089) #
ESPN is reporting that Paul DePodesta will be named the Dodgers GM this coming weekend.
_perlhack - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 06:48 PM EST (#79090) #
_JackFoley - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 08:46 PM EST (#79091) #
So close. I got 492.5 on the fly.
_R Billie - Wednesday, February 11 2004 @ 11:02 PM EST (#79092) #
JP should have a good relationship with DePodesta. Maybe this opens up some trading avenues. LA needs bats and DePodesta will want to get some OBP in there on the double. Will he be afraid to trade some of the better young pitching that the Dodgers have? Would Toronto be willing to move Alexis Rios for and Edwin Jackson or Greg Miller?

I also wonder how much culture shock this would be for an organization built on a highly traditional old school scouting in volume and quality. Headed by a scouting director that isn't afraid to routinely place high school pitchers very high on his draft list. And actually turn them into great prospects very quickly (see Greg Miller and Chad Billingsley).
Mike Green - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 10:41 AM EST (#79093) #
COMN for article on the indictment of Barry Bonds' personal trainer.

If the article is correct, athletes taking nutritional supplements from BALCO after 2000 are not quite as innocent as supposed if the supplements contained steroids. BALCO apparently supplied supplements to the well-known putative Olympic athlete CJ Hunter in 2000. When Hunter tested positive for steroids, BALCO apparently claimed that the supplements were "inadvertently" contaminated with large amounts of steroids. It's one thing for an athlete to buy a nutritional supplement off the shelf at a supermarket or health food store. It's another to use a supplement from a supplier with this "track" record.

It'll be interesting to compare the number of references to Barry Bonds and to Jason Giambi as this unfolds.
_Steve R - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 11:48 AM EST (#79094) #
How many people have been watching Conan this week?

What did you think? I thought Tuesday's show must have turned off a lot of Americans, but last night was better.

I sort of wish that the crowd would shut up though. Okay, you like the Leafs, we get it. That doesn't mean you have to go crazy every time they're mentioned, and keep whooping it up as he's trying to talk.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 04:55 PM EST (#79095) #
It looks like Santo Valdez, along with Nunley and Mora, will start the season in the Manchester pen. COMN. None of these guys are hot prospects, but with pitchers one never knows.

Gerry had Nunley pegged for the pen there in his depth chart (see the minor league tab on the sidebar), and now maybe Valdez and Mora get added. It's looking mighty crowded.
_Ryan01 - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 05:26 PM EST (#79096) #
Mike, I think that link is from last year. (the date is Feb 7/03) and all the other months that are linked are from last year as well.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 05:35 PM EST (#79097) #
Thanks, Ryan. Strange, though, as it pops up as current month on the website.
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 08:04 PM EST (#79098) #
Gerry, that game is pretty fun. How about this though...who can hit it the SHORTEST? It's actually fairly tough to hit a little "grounder." My shortest one is 166.6. Pretty funny to whiff over and over trying too hard to hit it short.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 08:09 PM EST (#79099) #
492.1 on the fly...I'll try to keep it short some day ;-)
I saw a friend go for over 593.
_Robbie Goldberg - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 10:01 PM EST (#79100) #
Looking at the article on the Reds website, I'm stunned at their optimism with Lidle and even more stunned at their very selective interpretation of his stats. Firstly, it's written that he's "an innings eater" and that he brings "reliability." This is a guy --- a 32-year-old --- who's thrown 188, 192, 192.2 innings in his past three years and had never touched 100 before that point. I'm even more mystified by this little paragraph and the subsequent quote from Lidle:

Despite leading the American League in runs allowed and finishing 12-15 with a 5.75 ERA last season with Toronto, Lidle gave the Blue Jays 11 quality starts and suffered seven losses by two runs or less.
"I was 12-12, and my last three starts, I could have easily won all of them," he said. "Just bad luck I guess. I wasn't tired. I actually came off the DL and kind of caught a second wind..."

Lidle seems to have forgotten the first 10 games he won --- where he consistently allowed 6-9 runs, and the Jays would somehow find a way to score more. His season had nothing to do with bad luck, it had to do with a terrible performance probably caused by an injury he's hiding --- an injury that will probably lead to the same subpar performance this year as well.
_R Billie - Thursday, February 12 2004 @ 11:54 PM EST (#79101) #
How about this though...who can hit it the SHORTEST?

56.6 about three times in a row before I got the hang of the timing. Now I can never hit it that short again.
_S.K. - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 02:00 AM EST (#79102) #
I got a 0 a couple of times. Is that good?
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